Amy Calder: The Summer Is Changing
Our former colleague, Doug Harlow, who passed away two years ago, used to say that when the Skowhegan State Fair arrives, summer is drawing to a close.
You could say he measured his years at this fair that he loved to cover.
My late father also noticed during the first week of August that there was a difference in the air, foreshadowing the start of the fall.
“It has changed,” he said.
My husband, Phil, puts it another way:
“When the goldenrod bloomed, we got it.”
I don’t watch the inevitable transition to come so harshly, but like my father, I tend to feel subtle changes in nature.
Some are welcome changes; others strike an uneasiness in my soul.
This year, I wonder what awaits me as summer turns into fall.
We have worked so hard in Maine to keep the coronavirus at bay, and it is disconcerting that we are now losing ground.
As spring turned into summer, we seized the opportunity to travel, felt more free to enjoy outdoor events and dine in restaurants, breathe in the salt air of the coast and visiting museums and other places we haven’t been able to go to for months.
We operated on hope and optimism because we had fought off the virus so successfully, seen the number of new infections drop, and ultimately saw little or no deaths.
We have enjoyed a feeling of freedom which, unfortunately, is shrinking.
What could have continued to be one step ahead of the virus was not to be, at least this time around.
Those of us who were considering returning to work have less hope; children planning to return to school, unmasked and in good health, will likely have to wait.
How long? Who would have imagined that what was planned in a few weeks would become months, a year, and now, probably two or more?
We have spent several million dollars on vaccines, personal protective equipment, health care, building school annexes to ensure that students and staff have enough space, installing exchange systems. air and developing distance learning programs.
Beyond that, people who work in health and child care, education, and business in general have sacrificed personal time for the greater good.
It was trying for them, stressful.
And now we are in decline because of those who choose not to be vaccinated and thus help to spread the virus.
It could be another dark winter.
A friend told me recently that when, a few months ago, she told a colleague that she was getting the vaccine, the colleague warned her that she would be “followed” – that the government would be able to. follow her in each of her movements.
Let’s call such conspiracy theories what they are: crazy and dangerous.
The point is, hospitals are filling up in states like Texas and Florida because people keep refusing vaccinations. Most of the people hospitalized have not been vaccinated. Where a year ago it was the old people who got sick, now it’s the young people.
What will it take to change mentalities, to slow down the downward trend?
Using science and quoting facts and figures to convince them apparently doesn’t work so well. I’m not sure there is any other way but to make them suffer the consequences themselves.
The unvaccinated will get sick or their friends or family will fall. They will be on ventilators in hospitals, alone, having difficulty breathing. Many will die. Those lucky enough to survive could have long lasting health problems.
The reality is that the air does change well, but unlike the inevitable transition from summer to fall, we humans have the power to change the course of the virus. To ward off a dark winter.
Surprisingly, the antidote is quite simple: get yourself vaccinated. Wear masks.
And before supporting anti-vaccination theories, read all you can get about how well vaccines work. Simply put, educate yourself.
Amy Calder has been a reporter for Morning Sentinel for 33 years. His columns appear here on Saturdays. She can be reached at [email protected]. For previous columns on side reports, go to centralmaine.com.
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